Icon depicting the Virgin between Joachim and Anne, painted by Theophilos

The icon depicts the Virgin at a young age between her parents, Joachim and Anne. The young Theotokos is holding a closed codex in one hand and pointing at it with her other. Joachim, an elderly figure with a long white beard, has his hands held open and to the right, probably in an gesture of prayer, while Anna is holding her hands up, palms outwards, in front of her chest. All three figures are depicted frontally in the folk style of the painter Theophilos G. Hadjimichael (1870-1934), whose initials are inscribed in the icon’s bottom right-hand corner (ΘΓΧΜ). Theophilos’ naïf composition and primitive execution have removed the transcendence and sanctity from a religious work and transformed it into an expression of the popular Greek soul; this is the core concept of his work.

Brouskari M. 1994. «Άγνωστη εικόνα του Θεόφιλου στο Μουσείο Παύλου και Αλεξάνδρας Κανελλοπούλου», in Θυμίαμα στη μνήμη της Λασκαρίας Μπούρα, Athens (Benaki Museum), 39-40.